By Marymagdalyn Francis:
The downfall of the dreaded Sambisa forest has set the stage for the cleansing of the country from the atrocities committed by Boko Haram and insurgents.
These President Muhammadu Buhari said in his New Year message includes a more intense security surveillance to ensure that there are no strange figures settling within communities after being flushed out from their base in the forest; government will deal decisively with officials that exploited and manipulated the handling of IDPs.
President Buhari gave stern stance on zero tolerance for those that stir up unnecessary restiveness, thereby throwing the country into a state of disunity.
He said:”Misguided elements who decided to take up arms against constituted authorities must be brought to face the full weight of the law.
”The support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country.”
The president admitted that mistakes were made in the handling of matters relating to the IDPs and assured that adequate measures would be taken to correct the ills as well as punitive measures for culprits.
He however said that part of the successes of administration on fight against terrorism was flushing them out of their stronghold and paving way for the massive return of IDPs back to their communities; through the efforts of the gallant military troops and security agencies.
“Seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, 2016, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.
“The Federal Government will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. I urge state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal,” he said.
President Buhari further promised Nigerians commitment to their constitutional right of protection of lives and property.
He said that 2017 will usher in the gains of democracy as the country is beginning to lean less on oil and gas as the main stay of the economy.
He stressed the need for an indivisible Nigeria.
He said:” The lingering security issues in several states will be frontally addressed. These ugly crises cannot be allowed to fester as they strain the unifying bonds of brotherhood and neighbourliness. Some sections of the press and some politicians should avoid provocative and inflammatory statements, while the government is painstakingly trying to find solutions to our challenges.”
President Buhari finding expression in an African adage said:”it is easy to break a broomstick but not a bunch.”
He warned trouble makers to beware that Nigeria is a bunch, and equal to the task of confronting frontally any aggression that threatens her existence.